This week marks a unique point in my life. No, it’s not my anniversary, my husband’s birthday, or even my own birthday. It’s the week I began as a full-time homemaker, one year ago. I’m at home because I’m Hana Kate’s Mommy, but I’m also at home because I Daniel’s wife.
I can’t sew much better than I could in fourth grade; I can’t knit or crochet, and I’ve never actually canned anything in my life. (But I can lay a cinder block wall! 🙂 ) Those are all things I hope to learn very soon, but they aren’t what defines true homemaking. Homemaking goes beyond the particular skills a woman may have. It even goes beyond the ability to transform a house into a lovely place. It is part of who I must be as a wife and mother and the godly haven of which I am to be keeper.
I’ve often heard that it takes at least a year for someone to fully learn a new job. So, now I’ve been at this “job” full-time for a year, and am wondering why I haven’t arrived. No, not really. 🙂 But I can look back and see that I have learned so, so much; yet looking to the Scriptures I see how much I desperately fall short of the woman of God I ought to be. In looking at the Proverbs 31 woman (just one of many examples of a what a Biblical wife should be), my pastor once shared that her most commendable trait was her hard work ethic. I suppose, that in many ways, that is also the most convicting aspect to me.
Going into marriage, I was very unprepared to truly serve in the home. In my childhood, my dream was to become a missionary doctor. As I entered college, I pursued that dream by entering as a pre-medicine major. I remember having a strong discussion with a young man that my primary role (if I was married) would be to serve first as a medical missionary. When he asked about having children, I had nothing to say; I assumed I would marry and have children, but that my “outside” ministry would come first. Besides…how boring!
In most of my educational environments, I had been pushed toward the idea that a woman should have a full-time ministry or a career. Thus, almost the entirety of my training from elementary age on, neglected to focus on training me for the job that I now hope to hold for the rest of my life. (I am not necessarily saying I shouldn’t have gone to college, but I do wish I had centered my training around being a godly homemaker.)
Fortunately, God began to change my heart around the time I was married, and I have increasingly homemaking seen my true and first calling. And I delight in it! A few months into our marriage, God began to work my husband’s heart and mine that my primary place (even if we had no children) should be my home. Several months later, God answered our prayers for children and for me to be released from my work contract when we learned that I was expecting our first child.
There is so much to learn, and so much that is new to me. I want my daughter(s) to be able to enter into marriage beyond the point where I am now. For a new wife there will always be adjustments and much to learn, but there is much training that can be given to girls before that time. Entering a marriage well prepared in this area can allow a woman to focus on developing herself as a homemaker in even broader areas during the early years of her marriage. Sadly, these days many Christian young women are pushed towards pursuing other goals that are, in the long run, at the expense of developing skills and godly wisdom to be a homemaker.
In her book Girl Talk, Carolyn Mahaney likens this to a medical student training for years to become a doctor. But once the young doctor begins to practice, he realizes that he’d much rather be an elementary school teacher. He has no training other than his medical training, but makes the switch anyway. How good of a teacher do you think he’d be (though he technically wouldn’t be accepted as a teacher without a license)? After pursuing other careers and having little to no homemaking training, many homemakers of today are in the same situation.
By God’s grace, I’ll be at home—wherever that may be—to teach my daughter(s) not only the skills of homemaking, but the joy of making and keeping the home.
I’m not at home because my husband has reached a certain level of financial success (though he is committed to working hard to provide for our family); I’m at home because my husband and I believe it is my Biblical calling. (I recognize that there are situations where a wife or mother needs to work, but for the most part it seems that we’ve too quickly bought into the world’s feministic philosophy of womanhood without evaluating God’s Word on the matter.).